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Suncity Group Macau Grand Prix – First Practice Report

Despite the early start at 7:30 AM local time, this had no effect on the anticipated front runners who set a blistering pace in the opening practice session of the 2018 Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Topping the time sheets was Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin (2.26.022) who finished an impressive 1.4 seconds clear of nearest challenger Michael Rutter (2.27.452), as the North West 200 feature Superbike winner laid down a big marker ahead of the opening qualifying session.

Photo by ID

TT Privateers champion Horst Saiger (2.28.433) and Cookstown BE Racing’s Derek Sheils (2.29.522) both it’s fair to say sprung a surprise or two in finishing third and fourth fastest.

Whilst Penz 13 BMW’s Dan Kneen (2.29.544) also showed excellent form finishing fifth quickest in front of anticipated front runners Martin Jessopp and reigning champion Peter Hickman.

Concluding the top ten in practice were Padgetts Conor Cummins, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin and new Lee Hardy Racing signing Gary Johnson.

Others to impress during the morning voyage around the Guia Circuit included Danny Webb, Didier Grams and PRL Worthington Racing’s Sam West.

World’s fastest road racer Dean Harrison began his second Macau venture with a steady run on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki, finishing 13th fastest.

Looking back on the fortunes of the event newcomers, it was Italy’s Alex Polita (2.35.770) who proved the most impressive debutant from first practice, just outpacing rising IRRC star Petr Biciste (2.36.362).

Coming up soon UK time at 7:40 AM is the opening qualifying session, as the battle for pole position between the likes of Irwin, Hickman, Jessopp, Rutter, Kneen, Johnson, Saiger and Cummins begins.

Suncity Group Macau Grand Prix – First Practice Results:

1 Glenn Irwin 2.26.022
2 Michael Rutter 2.27.452
3 Horst Saiger 2.28.433
4 Derek Sheils 2.29.522
5 Dan Kneen 2.29.544
6 Martin Jessopp 2.29.877
7 Peter Hickman 2.30.005
8 Conor Cummins 2.30.313
9 Ivan Lintin 2.31.041
10 Gary Johnson 2.31.608
11 Danny Webb 2.31.960
12 Didier Grams 2.31.988
13 Dean Harrison 2.32.087
14 David Johnson 2.32.336
15 Dan Cooper 2.32.635
16 Sam West 2.32.643
17 Marek Cerveny 2.32.820
18 Lee Johnston 2.32.962
19 Dan Hegarty 2.33.660
20 AJ Venter 2.34.219
21 Michael Sweeney 2.34.232
22 Steve Heneghan 2.35.265
23 Ben Wylie 2.35.285
24 Alex Polita 2.35.770
25 Petr Biciste 2.36.362
26 Andre Pires 2.38.538
27 Davy Morgan 2.39.645
28 Xavier Denis 2.43.099

Words by Stevie Rial